Estes BP "Super C" C5-3 opinions......

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Paul Howard

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Hi, I have some but haven't put them in a rocket yet. Anyone out there have any experience good or bad? Like'em, not-like'em? I have a heavy-ish for it's size 18mm rocket I just built (the Modified Discount Rocketry Bullet made for night launches seen on the thread by that name) and thinking of eventually putting the C5-3's in it. What say any of you?!?!?! Thanks -PTH
 

MALBAR 70

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I like them as well, but I've had a couple of ejection failures with them. The C5-3 gave my Semroc Mars Lander a great up, but failed to eject, trashing the lander upon impact. Estes made good on the motors and gave me a choice of a replacement rocket.
I still use them though.
 

smstachwick

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I have yet to fly them in anything they’re really designed for, three of them in a Generic E2X. I was fairly impressed with what seemed like a small but noticeable and potentially significant improvement in kick off the pad over the standard C6s. If the thrust curve is to be believed, a C5-0 (announced as in development but as yet unreleased) may be a good booster.
 

BABAR

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I have used a number of them and they fill a nice niche for heavier and/or draggier Estes (and presumably scratch built or other manufacturers models) over 113 grams (max recommended liftoff weight for a C6-3) with 18mm mounts which are difficult to modify to handle 24 mm motors. The C5-3 max recommended lift off weight is 227 grams.
 

Antares JS

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I have yet to fly them in anything they’re really designed for, three of them in a Generic E2X. I was fairly impressed with what seemed like a small but noticeable and potentially significant improvement in kick off the pad over the standard C6s. If the thrust curve is to be believed, a C5-0 (announced as in development but as yet unreleased) may be a good booster.
Is the C5-0 officially announced or is this just speculation?
 

shockie

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Compared to the original Centuri versions, they are pretty wimpy.

Probably because today's BP just isn't as energetic as it was in the 70's.

Compare the thrust time curves and you'll see the difference.
 

Initiator001

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Is the C5-0 officially announced or is this just speculation?
The C5-0 was mentioned in the Estes Manufacts Forum during NARCON 2021.

It was NOT mentioned during the Estes Manufacts of NARCON 2022.
Instead, Estes talked about the 24mm x 95mm E57-E65 motor that was planned for release in 2023.
 

Initiator001

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I have flown a pack or two of the NEW C5-3 motors.
They're okay but not nearly as impressive as the C5-3 motors from thirty years ago.

Today I go with Quest Q-Jet C12 or C18 motors if I need an extra kick off the launch pad.
 
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I have flown a pack or two of the NEW C5-3 motors.
They're okay but not nearly as impressive as the C5-3 motors from thirty years ago.

Today I go with Quest Q-Jet C12 or C18 motors if I need an extra kick off the launch pad.
I find the Quest ejection charges to be wimpy. I will only use them in cluster rockets where multiple ejection charges compensate for the wimpiness...
 

BigMacDaddy

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Love C5-3's and cannot wait for a C5-0 (so many rockets that fly well on a C6 but cannot add an Estes BP booster, unless you go to 24mm)...
 

Tom Flint

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Back in the 80s I used to use them regularly and they catoed a lot more than the C6. I think they were the least reliable motor Estes made until they came out with the E15. I hope the new ones don't have the same reliability issues.
 

Back_at_it

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They work ok but there are a limited number of rockets that can use them due to the short delay. I feel like a C5-5 would be more useful as it would open the motor up to more rockets.

In all honesty, when something gets border line for the C6 motors I generally go up to 24mm on the mount so I have the option of the C11 and D12 family.
 

PDawg

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I wished Estes made a longer burn motor since many of my rockets are small and light.
 

smstachwick

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I wished Estes made a longer burn motor since many of my rockets are small and light.
Extending the 18mm casing to 95mm length and having a black powder D4/D5/D6 close to the middle of the total impulse range would certainly be interesting. I can’t see that actually happening, since apparently AeroTech had hardware in this size back in the day that didn’t sell very well, but a man can dream…
 

DigBaddy

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Extending the 18mm casing to 95mm length and having a black powder D4/D5/D6 close to the middle of the total impulse range would certainly be interesting. I can’t see that actually happening, since apparently AeroTech had hardware in this size back in the day that didn’t sell very well, but a man can dream…

I like how you think. One would guess it might be possible to have a 24mm D5 BP motor - something with that nice initial hit of the C5 but a really long tail. I would guess that would not be much heavier than a longer 18mm motor.

I am not a motor expert and do not play one on TV.
 

smstachwick

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I like how you think. One would guess it might be possible to have a 24mm D5 BP motor - something with that nice initial hit of the C5 but a really long tail. I would guess that would not be much heavier than a longer 18mm motor.

I am not a motor expert and do not play one on TV.
That might be doable. AeroTech manufactures a D2.3T in an 18x70mm case that is 4g heavier than the C5, has slightly less peak thrust than the C6, and has no ejection charge (requiring electronic ejection in standard rockets). There is also a C3.4T in the same case with a shorter sustaining thrust.

Granted, these motors are meant for rocket gliders, but expert opinion in one of my other threads indicates that electronic ejection in an BT-20- or BT-50-based standard rocket flying on such motors might be doable.

I’m guessing that an extra 25mm of paper casing and propellant/delay/ejection grain would be comparable to or less than the extra weight of the electronics and metal reloadable hardware, and that the C5-type partial core would improve liftoff performance enough to allow common use. Offering 4, 6, or 8 seconds the way the E12 motors do should present plenty of delay options.

So the motor itself may be viable, but they’d also need all kinds of new tooling to make them. They would also need to create or modify new kits with a longer mount to take the motor, all of which would have to be tested extensively. Then there is certification to think about.

Can the market for the motor support all of this? I’d call it questionable.

A far smarter option would be to reintroduce the B8 from some decades ago, I believe that had the same nozzle and coring.

They work ok but there are a limited number of rockets that can use them due to the short delay. I feel like a C5-5 would be more useful as it would open the motor up to more rockets.

In all honesty, when something gets border line for the C6 motors I generally go up to 24mm on the mount so I have the option of the C11 and D12 family.
I don’t see much utility for a C5-5. The C5-3 was essentially designed for rockets that are tricky fliers on a C6-3. It’s basically their way of getting heavy rockets up without having to shorten the delay any more than it is.

Anything that flies OK on a C5-5 would likely also do well on a C6-3.
 

Initiator001

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I like how you think. One would guess it might be possible to have a 24mm D5 BP motor - something with that nice initial hit of the C5 but a really long tail. I would guess that would not be much heavier than a longer 18mm motor.

I am not a motor expert and do not play one on TV.
Ten years ago Quest sold 21mm diameter D5 black powder motors in -0P, -4 and -6 delays.
I bought 10 or 12 of each delay.

I fly one every year at the 'big' launch I attend (NARAM, NSL).

They remain NAR certified.
 

Initiator001

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That might be doable. AeroTech manufactures a D2.3T in an 18x70mm case that is 4g heavier than the C5, has slightly less peak thrust than the C6, and has no ejection charge (requiring electronic ejection in standard rockets). There is also a C3.4T in the same case with a shorter sustaining thrust.

Granted, these motors are meant for rocket gliders, but expert opinion in one of my other threads indicates that electronic ejection in an BT-20- or BT-50-based standard rocket flying on such motors might be doable.

I’m guessing that an extra 25mm of paper casing and propellant/delay/ejection grain would be comparable to or less than the extra weight of the electronics and metal reloadable hardware, and that the C5-type partial core would improve liftoff performance enough to allow common use. Offering 4, 6, or 8 seconds the way the E12 motors do should present plenty of delay options.

So the motor itself may be viable, but they’d also need all kinds of new tooling to make them. They would also need to create or modify new kits with a longer mount to take the motor, all of which would have to be tested extensively. Then there is certification to think about.

Can the market for the motor support all of this? I’d call it questionable.

A far smarter option would be to reintroduce the B8 from some decades ago, I believe that had the same nozzle and coring.


I don’t see much utility for a C5-5. The C5-3 was essentially designed for rockets that are tricky fliers on a C6-3. It’s basically their way of getting heavy rockets up without having to shorten the delay any more than it is.

Anything that flies OK on a C5-5 would likely also do well on a C6-3.
When the C5 motor was originally released there was not enough room in the casing for more delay material beyond three seconds.
 

BABAR

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I just might pluck up the nerve to fly my MIRV once I can get my hands on C5-0's.
Smart man. On maiden flight with the recommended C6-0 this went cruise missile almost from where it left the rod, and while if found the booster, the Independent Re-Entery Vehicles continued the horizontal trajectory and none could be found. Since it was released while the C5-0 was not available, I consider the MIRV (like the Estes Cosmos Mariner) to be one those “Exceptions that prove the rule” that Estes makes great rockets.

 
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